Roy Assaf on Choices Girls and Boys ŻfinDays ŻfinMalta

Choices. Choices. Choices.

ŻfinMalta was lucky enough to host open rehearsals with Roy Assaf ahead of our ŻfinDays programme, where audiences had the chance to see ŻfinMalta dancers rehearsing for Girls and Boys: a favourite among both our audience and dancers. Roy had some wise words on his approach to composition which he shared with us:

People watch dance and they think they need to understand it, but actually, they just need to feel it.

On composition…

“All the time, creating is about choices. You just need to constantly make choices, choices, choices. In the way that I work, I give a lot of decision making to the dancers too, I’m very curious to see what people can do when given the opportunity. In the end, for me, the only reason I choose something is because it feels right, the tension is just right.”

On experiencing dance works…

“People watch dance and they think they need to understand it, but actually, they just need to feel it. They have such a focus or frustration on the fact that they must understand it, that they can’t, and they miss it. When people try too hard at something, they have no chance of succeeding, and dance works are meant to just be experienced, to move you, to be felt.”

ŻfinMalta Roy Assaf on choices Girls and boys
Photograph by Lindsey Bahia
On musical choices in ‘Girls and Boys’…

“Most of the songs I used were just songs that accompanied me from my youth, not necessarily specific to the concept of the work. I’m always looking for a sound that brings a specific tension between all the elements on stage, something that brings everything together, something that creates a tension that is just right. Whenever I have more material, I will always go back and question my decisions, does it still make sense? Adding songs and music to movement is just a game, for example in this process we tried many things, but when I chose ‘The end of the World,’ it just felt stronger.”

Girls and Boys ŻfinMalta as part of ŻfinDays 2023
Girls and Boys will be performed at Valletta Campus Theatre for two nights only! Roy Assaf’s critically acclaimed work ‘Girls and Boys’ is sure to leave audiences deeply moved.

Five boys and five girls fill the stage with striking imagery, unexpected interactions, and small gestures. There is a playfulness, interrupted with sudden moments of powerful and more serious revelations, ‘the expectations of society sitting invisibly, mightily, inescapably upon their shoulders.’ An undoubtedly thought-provoking and charming piece, Girls and Boys is not to be missed.

Watch James Vernon’s trailer for ‘ŻfinDays.’ Paolo Mangiola’s ‘Nuova Figura’ features as part of our ŻfinDays double bill.